Disaster Preparedness for Florida Businesses

Hurricane Irma – Create a Plan Now

9/7/2017 – Florida SBDC Network Urges Businesses to Prepare for Hurricane Irma
On Monday, September 4, Governor Scott issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in every Florida county. The Florida SBDC Network urges Florida businesses to stay informed and make adequate preparations for Hurricane Irma, an extremely dangerous storm that has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean.  As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As the storm approaches, the Florida SBDC reminds business owners to make necessary last-minute preparations for the storm’s impact on business operations and employees. read full release

Note: In preparation for Hurricane Irma, all Florida SBDC offices across the state will be closed until it is safe to return. Depending on the scope of the impact of the storm, Florida SBDC disaster specialists will be available in affected areas to assist with applying for disaster loans and with other post-disaster challenges. Learn about our Disaster Recovery services here.


Business Disaster Resources: Before the Storm

Stay Informed:

  • www.nhc.noaa.gov – Get the latest information on Hurricane Irma at the National Hurricane Center.
  • 850-815-4925 – The Private Sector Hotline has been activated by the state for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information, and post-impact information.
  • 800-342-3557 – The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) is a toll-free hotline activated at the time of an emergency to provide an additional resource for those in Florida to receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding an emergency or disaster situation impacting the State of Florida. FEIL line is currently activated and available 24 hours/7 days a week.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.org – The state’s official source of general and specific information for individuals and businesses about Hurricane Irma from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Create a Plan:

  • Get A Plan – Get a Plan assists businesses in developing a family and/or business plan utilizing the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s online templates. Utilize the preparedness app FDEM Google Play | iTunes
  • Ready.gov/Business – Ready Business assists businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.

Prepare a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” Box:

Every business should have a Business Ready “Records-To-Go” box that includes important documents and supplies necessary for business to continue after a disaster. Make sure the box is fire- and
waterproof. Some suggested records include:

  • Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Emergency contact list of employees and key customers
  • Insurance policies and agent information
  • List of suppliers and vendors
  • Back-up computer systems and data files
  • Bank records

For more helpful tips on how businesses can protect their assets, support their employees, and safeguard critical business processes, review our Dare to Prepare Flyer.

Additional Resources to Help Businesses Stay Informed and Prepare:

  • Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses Webinar – The Florida SBDC at Florida International University (FIU), a member of the Florida SBDC Network, has prepared a short 25-minute webinar with business preparedness tips. To view the video, please click here.
  • Hurricane Preparedness Checklist – Agility Recovery, in partnership with the U.S. SBA, has developed the Hurricane Preparedness Checklist to help businesses prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees, and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event, click here.
  • Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) – The FLVBEOC has been activated to a Level 1, a full-scale, 24-hour activation, providing businesses with valuable preparedness information. For a list of preparedness tips before the storm and to register your business, please click here.
  • Free Email Continuity Program – The AppRiver Digital Disaster Recovery Program is an emergency email continuity program provided free by AppRiver to businesses facing imminent natural disasters. Businesses threatened by approaching hurricanes or other catastrophic events may simply redirect their email to AppRiver through our secure data centers. Once the danger passes and connectivity is restored, AppRiver will forward all outage-period e-mail activity to the company’s e-mail server, free of charge. Register here.
  • 866-9-NO-SCAM – Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline.
  • Statewide Private Sector Re-Entry Program – Businesses should be aware that local authorities will require employees seeking re-entry to impacted areas to provide a driver’s license or passport, proof of employment or a letter on company letterhead, and proof of a demonstrated need to enter the area, such as a work order or employer authorization. For more information, please click here.